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I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle as an associate producer to shoot a branded content spot for NFL Media. It was branded content editorial for Bose featuring Russell Wilson and Kurt Warner. Since we weren’t going to be able to shoot with Russ until late afternoon, Seth Shapiro (EP) and I decided to take a one-day trip from LA to the Emerald City. It was a hectic day, one filled with some unexpected challenges, but ultimately a career highlight.

As someone whoโ€™s grown into more of a assistant to the producer role since first starting with Diesel Films, the day was filled with pinch-me moments. It was an experience in which I learned from some of the best in the sports and production worlds. Monday mornings could be a lot worseย ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Check out my timeline below to see just what went into such a fulfilling day up in Seattle.

๐Ÿ•›ย 5:00 AM ALARM CLOCK GOES OFFย ๐Ÿ•›

I had set ten alarms because Iโ€™m always paranoid I’ll sleep through my alarm. Surprisingly, I got up at the first one, mainly fueled by excitement.

๐Ÿ•›ย 6:30 AM ARRIVE AT AIRPORTย ๐Ÿ•›

When Seth and I met at the gate, they had just announced our flight was delayed because of smoke in Seattle caused by forest fires in British Columbia. With so much ahead of us to accomplish in a strict window of time, this was nerve-racking. Luckily, we got out of LA not too far behind schedule.

๐Ÿ•›ย 8:30 AM SEA-TAC BOUNDย ๐Ÿ•›

Despite the flight delay, it felt like a short trip compared to what I’m used to when flying back to the East Coast. I always enjoy catching up on movies I havenโ€™t seen in a while (usually, I watch Bridesmaids, but this time it was Devil Wears Pradaย ๐Ÿ˜‚).

๐Ÿ•›ย 11:30 AM ARRIVAL IN SEATTLEย ๐Ÿ•›

๐Ÿ•›ย 12:30 STARBUCKS RUNย ๐Ÿ•›

Of course with Seattle being the home of Starbucks, Seth and I found one only a few minutes from the training facility, so it was good to both decompress and prepare for the shoot. I also tested out the Sony a7r III for BTS photos.

[EP Seth Shapiro doing last minute prep before shoot]

๐Ÿ•›ย 2:00 PM ARRIVE AT VMACย ๐Ÿ•›

We set up in the media room which definitely brought me back to my journalism days! The walls were filled with pictures of past and present beat reporters.

๐Ÿ•›ย 2:15 PM WALK THROUGHย ๐Ÿ•›

After meeting with our talented crew fromย Motion State, we did a walk-through with Seahawks Director of Football Communications Lane Gammel. From my previous experience working with other PR directors or SIDs, I thought he would try to limit your time with Russ. Lane, however, was very fair and clear on what Russell would be willing to do. It was Russell’s “off-day” so we couldn’t capture him throwing or doing heavy drills.

For this shoot we chose to use two RED Digital Cinema Cameras, a Monstro on a Freefly Movi Pro, for high-end motion stabilization and a Weapon Helium on a longer lens to give us those cinematic details that are so important for the editorial.

๐Ÿ•›ย 2:30 PM UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE #2ย ๐Ÿ•›

Seth got a text early in the afternoon from Kurt saying his flight was delayed due to the smoke over Seattle as well. We were scheduled to shoot with Russ at 4:45, so it was nerve-racking realizing Kurtโ€™s arrival time may shorten the time we have with him and Russ.

๐Ÿ•›ย 4:00 PM KURTโ€™S ARRIVALย ๐Ÿ•›

Right when Kurt arrived, we got him micโ€™d up and ready to shoot. It was cool to see how he interacted with the crew and especially our EP, Seth. Seth has filmed a number of NFL Network pieces, including Back 2 Campus at Kurt’s alma mater the University of Northern Iowa. I was glad to capture them throwing together before we started shooting. Kurt is the consummate professional and loves talking football, so he was pretty fired up to deep dive with Russell. Kurt emailed us over the weekend asking for specific research on Russ, so he was totally prepared.

๐Ÿ•›ย 5:00 PM RUSSELLโ€™S ARRIVALย ๐Ÿ•›

After we got Russ micโ€™d up, we set up our first shot: Kurt interviewing Russ on the practice field. We only had Russ for an hour so we had to move fast.

๐Ÿ•›ย 5:30 PM HIGHLIGHTING THE PRODUCTย ๐Ÿ•›

With the next 30 minutes, we had to shoot dynamic broll of Russ wearing the Bose headphones.ย  We outlined 3 scenes for Russ, but due to the time constraints we had to pick two locations, so we chose the practice field and the fishing dock overlooking Lake Washington.

๐Ÿ•›ย 5:45 PM DOCK SHOTย ๐Ÿ•›

With the Seahawks facility being in such a pristine location, it was important to show Russ walking on the dock in Lake Washington, reflective on the past and focused for the upcoming season, wearing his Bose QC 35 headphones.

Seth took some amazing portraits of Russ with a beautiful backdrop of Lake Washington at dusk.

๐Ÿ•›ย 6:15 PM UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE #3ย ๐Ÿ•›

We were feeling pretty relieved after we wrapped, but there’s always something, right? When we set up the footage transfer, we realized it was going to take over an hour, far longer than it usually does. With that delay, we would likely miss our flight.

We decided to drive back to Motion Stateโ€™s office in downtown Seattle to see if we would have any better luck with the media transfer there. We hit some traffic avoiding the highway, so the scenic route took a lot longer than expected.

๐Ÿ•›ย 7:15 PM ARRIVAL AT MOTION STATEย ๐Ÿ•›

With our flight scheduled to board at 9PM, and not sure how long the media transfer would take, we all began to get a little nervous. Motion State had a full bar in their office, so it was hard to refuse their offer to share a drink together.ย  I think by this point we all needed oneย ๐Ÿ˜‚.

๐Ÿ•›ย 8:00 PM LEAVE FOR AIRPORTย ๐Ÿ•›

Since the footage wasnโ€™t able to transfer immediately, Motion State agreed to FedEx a drive overnight. Still, it was a little bit of a curve-ball that we had ended up at their office in the first place. With that said, hopefully we can partner on future projects because they were all awesome to work with!

๐Ÿ•›ย 8:30 PM UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE #4ย ๐Ÿ•›

Our flight back home was delayed just like our flight up to SeaTac but this time due to a late flight crew. The extra time gave us the chance to look over more of the photos we took during the day.

๐Ÿ•›ย 11:30 PM LAX BOUNDย ๐Ÿ•›

Despite it being one of the longest days ever, I canโ€™t help but be thankful for the experience. It was definitely a career highlight. When I started with Diesel last year, I honestly didnโ€™t know what to expect and didnโ€™t know a lot about production at all.ย  With projects like these, Iโ€™m so thankful for not just being able to witness the end product, but be part of the PROCESS. That is ultimately the most fulfilling part.

๐Ÿ•›ย 1:45 AM ARRIVAL AT LAXย ๐Ÿ•›

๐Ÿ•›ย 2:30 AM BACK HOMEย ๐Ÿ•›

Stay tuned for the Russell Wilson X NFL GameDay segment airing in the coming weeks!

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